Finding the best camping lantern isn’t just about the style or brand, in fact, most times it’s more about choosing the brightest camping lantern that’s going to help you see as clearly and accurately as possible at night.
Bright lanterns are camping essentials. They don’t lose power as quickly as flashlights and will illuminate a wider amount of space to keep you safer at night.
Different types of camping lanterns have their own different advantages. The brightest propane lanterns light up easily and burn quite bright, whilst the brightest LED lanterns and rechargeable lanterns have long runtimes and are easy to transport.
No matter what kind of lantern you prefer, whether it’s a rechargeable 1500 lumens lantern or 500 lumens survival lantern, we’ve compiled this list of the best and brightest camping lanterns on the market today. We’re diving deep into the details, as well as the lumens count for each model, so you’ll find the right one to suit your needs.
The Brightest Camping Lanterns above 1000 lumens
1. Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern
Lumens Count: 1540
Equipped with a high-temperature globe to prevent cracking from heat, this model from Coleman has a simple design that packs a punch. An adjustable knob in the center lets you get the exact brightness you need. With over 1500 lumens output, it’s great for lighting up a large space for comfortable, ambient lighting.
Two features that stand out the most are the PerfectFlow system and the InstaStart ignition. PerfectFlow ensures a consistent flow between the gas and light, no matter the exterior conditions or amount of gas left. The InstaStart ignition is unique in that it allows matchless lighting, making the set-up process quick and simple.
We found the base easy to use and convenient when setting it down. It won’t wobble around and keeps it stable for safety. A long wire handle allows effortless carrying and is also handy for hanging when you need hands-free lighting. The entire model is made from robust materials that encourage long0term use, like a rugged metal guard and porcelain ventilator.
- Durable Materials Include High-Temp Globe, Metal Guard & Porcelain Ventilator
- Integrated PerfectFlow System & InstaStart Ignition
- 4oz Propane Cylinder Gives 4.3h on High & 9.25h on Low
2. Internova Monster LED Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 1500
Internova manages to find a balance between ruggedness and ease-of-use with this model, aptly named “Monster”. It’s extremely durable, constructed from a rubber and plastic molded base that prevents slippage on wet, uneven surfaces. Despite its durability, it’s still rather lightweight, coming in at just 1.5lbs. The controls are located right on the front with a raised button, which makes powering it on a cinch when it’s dark since you can feel it easily.
Four brightness settings range from Low to Maximum, giving you control over lumens output. We’re certainly impressed by its runtime of 72 hours on its lowest setting, as you can go multiple days without worrying about charging. We appreciate that even though it emits a super bright light, the frosted casing ensures that it doesn’t hurt your eyes.
Operating on 4 D cell alkaline batteries, it’s got a water-resistant rating of IPX4, meaning it protects from consistent water splashes. A sturdy handle makes it more convenient to carry over long periods, plus it’s retractable for better storage. We like that you can even hang it upside-down using the bottom S-hook.
- Highly Durable & Water-Resistant Rubber & Plastic Build with Non-Slip Base
- Retractable Handle Plus Base S-Hook for Customizable Hanging
- 5h Runtime on Max Mode & Massive 72h Runtime on Low Mode
3. UST 60-Day Duro LED Portable Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 1200
This UST model has one of the longest runtimes we’ve seen, clocking in at an incredible 60 days on its Low setting. It’s built with a rubberized ABS plastic casing that makes it high-impact and resistant against rough weather conditions. A thick rubber base stops slipping, plus the handle has a wide rubber part that increases comfort while carrying and stability while hanging.
Brightness consists of a lumens count topping 1200, which offers a clean white light in SOS, Low, Medium and High modes. At 3.1lbs it’s a little heavier than some other models, but it’s perfect for those who don’t mind sacrificing a little weight for a hard-wearing lantern. A massive power button is positioned on the front for seamless control.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting: the top section of this model can screw off, revealing the inner bulb attached to the bottom half. You can use this part if you want to shave off some weight, plus it can even still hang using the bright orange loop on the base.
- Tough Rubber & ABS Plastic Build Offers IPX4 Water Resistance
- 41h Runtime on High Mode & 60 Full Days on Low Mode (20 Lumens)
- Bright White LEDs & Removable Top Section for Flashlight Use
4. Streamlight Super Siege Rechargeable Lantern
Lumens Count: 1100
Our next pick is a feature-rich model by Streamlight. It’s within the high-price range, but it’s pretty clear to see why once you break down the ton of features you get in one compact package. The outer casing is made of a durable polymer, which is complimented by a super-tough polycarbonate lens. These elements allow it to submerge in water for up to 1 meter, plus it can be dropped from 2 meters and remain in-tact.
To use it either upright or stowed, the ergonomic handle locks in two different positions and can be hung from horizontal edges. We love the addition of the glare guard which is perfect for task lighting. Much like the previous model, this one also has a screw-off top that reveals the inner globe. You can hang it upside-down or use it for more precise illumination.
Below the recessed power button you’ll find the USB charging ports, which are protected from dust, debris and water thanks to a removable cover. They let you charge your phone, tablet, or other devices. One of our favorite add-ons is the watertight storage compartment on the base – you can store money, keys, or charging cable knowing they won’t get damaged or lost.
- 75h Runtime on High & 348h on Low
- Spring Loaded Built-In D-Rings on Top & Base Allow Hands-Free Use
- Battery Indicator & Convenient Watertight Storage Area in Base
- IPX7 Water-Resistant Rating Allows 1-Meter Submersion
5. Core Patio Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 1000
One of our top choices for car camping, this Core model offers comfortable lighting with a candlelight flicker mode that creates a pleasant ambience. With a fresh set of 4 D batteries, it will last you a full 6 hours on its highest setting and 375 hours on low. It’s also a great pick for when you’re entertaining in the backyard, as it’s much easier to use than installing a full lighting system in your garden.
On the front, two large buttons clearly display the settings, allowing you to quickly and seamlessly change between modes. At the top you’ll find the 180° folding handle that folds flat – a handy addition when you need to store it away and take up less space. A water-resistant casing lets you leave it out in light rainfall.
Durable lifetime LEDs produce a bright yellow-white light which is dispersed due to the frosted casing. This makes it more comfortable on the eyes without diminishing its intensity or ability to provide a consistent 360° glow.
- Highest Setting Emits 50ft of Light & Low Mode Emits 9ft
- Water Resistant Construction & Lifetime LEDs
- 6h Lifespan on High Mode & 1500h on Flickering Mode
6. Coleman 1000 Lumens LED Lantern
Lumens Count: 1000
Highly portable and lightweight, this model is even more simple and straightforward in design than the previous Coleman one on our list. Using 4 D batteries, it comes with four modes (Low, Medium, High, Flashing) and has a rather impressive runtime of 14 hours on its top setting. Its 360° beam illuminates up to 52ft, so it’s one of our favorites for night walks when we need to see far ahead.
Unique to this brand, there’s a built-in Battery Guard system, which prevents battery drainage and reduces the risk of corrosion. It also means that the batteries can be stored for years (depending on their shelf life of course) so it will continue working even after its gone unused between camp trips.
While the outer casing is transparent, the inner lifetime LED bulbs are diffused thanks to a near-opaque white shell. This prevents any overly-bright spots, creating a more comfortable radiance all-around. There isn’t any information on materials, but it appears to be a thick, hard plastic. Either way, it’s IPX4 water-resistant and has an impact-resistance rating of 2-meters on dirt.
- Convenient Battery Guard System Extends Battery Life by 25%
- 14h Runtime on High Mode & Over 50ft Light Beam Reach
- Lightweight 1.9lbs & Compact 8.7” H x 4.4” D
7. Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 1000
With over 16,000 positive ratings online (and counting), there’s no doubt that this model is a hit among users. We also can’t help but approve of this model due to its user-friendly and value-packed design. Breaking it down, it consists of a U-shaped easy-grip handle, anti-slip rubber at the top, middle and base, a detachable cap, and a protective battery cover.
Needing just 3 D batteries, it lasts up to 25 hours and includes four brightness and color modes. Using only the silicone power button, you can control the dimming effect and switch through each mode. We like that you can switch between white lights and warm yellow-white lights, plus a combined flashing setting for SOS situations.
With an IPX4 water-resistant rating you can use it in mild to medium rainfall, plus the rubber and thick plastic construction means it can handle rough conditions. At just 7.2” in height it’s compact for storage and travelling. The top cap diffuses the LEDs for a 360° glow, but you can remove the cap to get a direct light beam when needed.
- IPX4 Water-Resistant Tough Rubber Exterior
- Low Warm White Mode Lasts 25h on 3 D Cell Batteries
- Compact Size with Removable Cap & Ergonomic Handle
8. Blazin’ LED Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 1000
Versatility at its finest, this model from Blazin’ features a straightforward design that’s suitable for a wealth of different uses – from working on your car to playing games on the campsite, it provides a bright, comfortable glow. Fully rechargeable, the vibrant colored accents and central green light are designed to make it easy to find when it’s dark. That’s unique to us because not many brands will think about how difficult it can be to actually find the light when you need it.
The LED lights are enclosed in a plastic casing that disperses the beam for 360° lighting. On a single charge it will last you a huge 350 hours, so it could illuminate your way all night if it had to. Inside the USB Power Bank there is a 12000mAh lithium-ion battery, which can also charge your devices in a pinch.
Six illumination modes include a strobe setting for emergencies, and they’re all conveniently adjusted using the front button. When it’s time for hands-free use, you can either hang it from the upper handle or use the bottom S-hook that folds down flat after use.
- Dual-Battery Rechargeable Design Has 350h Battery Life on 1 Charge
- Comfortable-Grip Handle & S-Hook on Base for Versatile Hanging
- Lightweight 1.5lbs Yet Robust Water-Resistant Hard Plastic Build
9. Coleman Multi-Panel Quad Pro LED Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 800
One of their more updated versions, the Quad Pro is incredibly unique in design. It lasts an impressive 400 hours on its lowest mode, or 20 hours at its brightest, and can stretch almost 60ft in one go. What stands out about this model, though, is that it consists of four rechargeable magnetic panels that can be removed and used on their own.
This is what makes this a top pick for family or group camping, as four campers can grab their own personal light when needed and snap it back onto the lamp quickly and effortlessly. Each panel has its own fold-down kickstand that doubles as a handle, so you can prop it up for hands-free use. Also, the magnets are ultra-handy when you’re working, as they connect to metal shelters, toolboxes, or the hood of your car.
Even if some of the panels are removed, you can still aim the beam in any direction by rotating the body. The bottom has a rubber base for a better grip, and there’s a collapsible metal handle at the top for hanging or carrying.
- Features 4 “Take-Along” Removable Magnetic Light Panels
- IPX-4 Water-Resistant Design Withstands Water Splashes
- Base USB-Charging Port to Power Your Devices
- 400h Battery-Life on Low & 20h on High
10. Energizer LED Camping Lantern
Lumens Count: 500
Our last choice is this versatile model from Energizer that’s designed for everything from intense survival camping, to lighting up your kitchen in a blackout. While the peak lumen count might be lower than what you may expect, we’ve picked this model because it can power at that level of lumens continuously longer than any other lantern in its class.
It runs up to 650 hours on low or 150 hours on high, making it extremely reliable for emergency or survival conditions when you need lighting for an extended period of time. The high setting in particular is super bright, emitting a radiant white light that glows in 360°. A rugged exterior makes it resistant to water splashes.
There’s even a night-light setting which has a yellow tone – perfect for kids in the tent when they don’t want to sleep in pitch-black darkness. One of the standout features is the front switch that glows-in-the-dark, making it hassle-free to find in low-lighting.
- Ultra-Bright LED Technology with 3 Modes & Glow-in-the-Dark Switch
- Water-Resistant Build & Wide-Grip Comfortable Handle
- Extended Battery Time Runs 650h on Low & 150h on High
Frequently Asked Questions
How Bright Does my Camping Lantern Need to Be?
Brightness is typically measured using lumens, which are a measure of the entire amount of light that is visible to the human eye that gets emitted.
When choosing a brightness, it depends on how you’re going to use it, although many of them come with adjustable brightness levels so that you can find the right one in the moment.
On a general scale, the brightest ones you’ll find will come in at around 1550 lumens, and others can go as low as 100 lumens. The lower the lumens, the lower the brightness, but low lumens also translates to less power use. This means that a bulb around 500 lumens will last a lot longer than one topping 1500.
Again, it all depends how you’re going to use it and the amount of time you’d like the light to last. For things like caving and hiking in very remote areas, you would probably benefit from a lantern with at least 1000 lumens, for safety reasons.
For day hikes and less remote activity, a lantern between 300-600 is definitely viable as you will still have daylight on your side.
What is the Brightest Coleman Lantern?
The most light-intense model is the Coleman Northstar, which is a propane lamp that emits 1540 lumens at its highest setting. Their LED Lantern (which you’ll also find on our list) has 1000 lumens which is still bright enough to illuminate interior spaces with 360° light.
What is the Brightest Battery-Powered Lantern?
There are a few that fall under this category. These include:
- Internova Monster LED Lantern at 1500 lumens (produces a yellow-white light in a 360° frosted case that disperses the light comfortably so it doesn’t cause your eyes to strain)
- UST 60-Day Duro Lantern at 1200 lumens (emits a slightly more white light than the previous one, but still with a minimal yellow tinge to make it easy on the eyes)
- Streamlight Super Seige at 1100 lumens (generates white light and also a red light for emergencies)
What is the Brightest Propane Lantern?
One of the brightest you can find on the market is the Coleman Northstar at 1540 lumens. It’s a top pick for family camping and group trips as it can easily light-up a large tent with an ambient glow, plus it’s fully adjustable in terms of dimming. With the InstaStart ignition it’s also user-friendly, taking only seconds to fire up.
What is the Brightest Rechargeable Lantern?
The Internova Monset model has a rating of 1500 lumens. It runs on 4 D cell batteries, but you can buy a different variation of the model, which is actually rechargeable powered by a built-in battery. Both come with LED bulbs.
The other one is the Streamlight Super Siege with 1100 lumens. You can choose from either a white light, or a red glow, and it has an integrated 10,400mAh lithium-ion battery that you can recharge.
Conclusion on the Brightest Lanterns for Camping
Regardless of your favorite model on our list, these brightest camping lanterns are perfect for ensuring your safety while camping at night and finding your way around an area in dim lighting.
They will help you navigate the camp grounds or wilderness, see properly while cooking or setting up the tent, repair broken equipment, or play camp games (let’s be real, the light from a campfire just won’t cut it when you’re trying to look at your playing cards!).
We’ve chosen a wide variety of models with different levels of lumens, from propane to battery-powered lanterns, so that you can find the right one for whatever type of camping you love. We’ve also made sure to choose a series of highly rugged designs that will last the roughest conditions, because we all know how unpredictable mother nature can be.